Weeds

Bahiagrass

(Common Bahia or Pensacola Bahia)

Bahiagrass
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Bahiagrass is a tropical to subtropical perennial grass. It is notable for its prominent dual, V-shaped inflorescence consisting of two spike-like racemes containing multiple tiny spikelets, each about 2.8-3.5 mm long.
This grass is low-growing and creeping with stolons and stout, scaly rhizomes. Stolons are pressed firmly to the ground, have short internodes, and root freely from the nodes forming a dense sod. The flat, tough-textured leaves are usually hairless, with blades 2-6 mm wide. They are flat, folded, and inrolled, tapering to a fine point. The leaf bases at the terminus of each rhizome usually have a purplish hue. Stems usually reach 20-75 cm tall.

The terminal dual racemes are each attached to the top of a slender stem or with one slightly below the other. Infrequently, there may be a third present below the terminal ones. The spikelets closely overlap in two rows. They are broad, rounded, smooth and shiny. Inside each spikelet is a tiny flower. The tiny, black, featherlike stigmas and black stamens can be seen dangling at the tips of these flowers.

Bahia grass is native to Mexico and South America, but has been naturalized in North America and other places. It prefers sandy soils and is tolerant of shade.
It is also fairly hardy, tolerating salty conditions and drought extremely well. Plants seed from June to November.

This grass is used primarily as a forage. The nutritive value remains high when mature, but it is not very productive. It is also valued as an erosion-controlling soil stabilizer, as well as for its productivity, ease of establishment and persistence. It makes a relatively low-maintenance turfgrass as well, with less disease and insect problems than some of the other warm season grasses.